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Volvo will soon be joining the compact crossover war in South Africa with its new V40 Cross Country.
It'll be officially launched in March this year, but Volvo has already released the pricing and range details of what is really a V40 in hiking boots.
The good news is that there's a wide range to choose from and that the Cross Country doesn't command a hefty price premium over its ground-hugging hatch counterpart:
T4 Essential manual - R319 900
T4 Excel manual - R326 600
T4 Essential Powershift - R335 700
T4 Elite manual - R340 500
T4 Excel Powershift - R342 400
T4 Elite Powershift - R356 300
T5 Excel AT - R390 200
T5 Elite AT - R404 100
T5 AWD Excel AT - R405 900
T5 AWD Elite AT - R419 800
D3 Excel AT - R353 700
D3 Elite AT - R367 600
D4 Excel AT - R368 200
D4 Elite AT - R382 100
RAISED, BUT MAINLY FWD
The Cross Country is not trying to be a proper SUV, but it is more versatile (and shoddy-road-friendly) than the V40 given that its suspension has been raised by 40mm.
You can also tell it apart by its honeycomb mesh grille, roof rails, black mirrors and its unique front and rear bumpers that are mainly black but which also feature silver inserts at the bottom.
Inside the V40 has its fair share of unique touches, and there are plenty of trim colours to choose between and seven different 'mood lighting' options.
Unsurprisingly the bulk of the models in the range churn their power through the front wheels, but there are two permanent all-wheel drive options in T5 form top of the line-up.
The engine range largely mirrors that of the V40 hatch, except there is no T3 petrol option, so your entry point is the 132kW/270Nm T4, powered by a 1.6-litre direct injection turbopetrol.
The T5 is powered by Volvo's familiar 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbopetrol, which is good for 187kW and 400Nm, including a 40Nm overboost function. This one, says Volvo, will scream to 100km/h in just 6.5 seconds.
Buyers can also choose between a pair of diesel models in the form of Volvo's 110kW/350Nm 2-litre D3 and 130kW/400Nm 2-litre D4.
The T4 petrol model can be had with either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch Powershift transmission, while the rest of the models are fitted as standard with a traditional six-speed automatic gearbox.